Darwin Day 2017


Darwin Day Lecture 2017

This year’s Darwin Day lecture titled:  Artificial selection in the genomics age – lessons from the racecourse’ will be presented by Emmeline Hill who is Associate Professor of Equine Science at UCD.

The lecture will take place at 19.30 hours on Thursday 16th February 2017 in the Hamilton Hall, Trinity College Dublin

The lecture will discuss the discovery of the ‘Speed Gene’ in racehorses and the contribution of sets of other genes to the athletic phenotype. This new knowledge has already had considerable impact in the multi-billion dollar global industry where decisions are being informed by genomic information.

Dr. Emmeline Hill biography

Emmeline Hill is Associate Professor of Equine Science at UCD and was the co-founder of Equinome Ltd (acquired by Plusvital Ltd in 2015). She is Chief Science Officer for Plusvital Ltd, the world leader in the development and provision of genetic tests for the international Thoroughbred horse industry.

Dr. Hill has been at the forefront of thoroughbred performance genomics during the last decade and has published more scientific papers on equine exercise genomics than any other researcher worldwide. In 2010 the publication that described the discovery of the ‘Speed Gene’ in racehorses coincided with the launch of Equinome Ltd. and the company’s first commercial genetic test. In UCD she leads a €1.8M Science Foundation Ireland funded research programme in equine exercise genomics, the largest of its kind in the world. It has been said that “When it comes to published academic research, Hill may be champion among the geneticists engaged in the search for the secrets of equine athletic potential.” (Scientific American 2012)





Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around February 12th, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

The International Darwin Day Foundation is a voluntary movement which, through focusing on the scientific achievements of Charles Darwin and others, serves to improve the public understanding of science and works to bridge the gap between science and society — in short to help improve science literacy.

This Programme encourages interested groups and individuals throughout the world to participate in the annual celebration of Charles Darwin’s life.

The first public Darwin Day Lecture held in Ireland was in February 2003 in Collins Barracks. For details on Darwin Day lectures organised by the HAI since then please see the Archive page.